Archive | Department of History


Past Hurley Military History Seminars

The 38th Annual Hurley Military History Center was held on 6 November 2021 under the theme of "Conventional War or Insurgency: The Strategy and Tactics of the Vietnam War." The Seminar featured two enlivening perspectives on America's 10,000-day war in Vietnam. Colonel Ramon "Tony" Nadal (US Army, ret.), reflected on his experience of the war as a decorated combat soldier in one of the war's fiercest battles. Historian Andrew Wiest, author of several books on Vietnam, considered the question of the war's strategic direction and whether or not the conflict was winnable. As a young captain, Colonel Nadal commanded a company in Lt.-Colonel Hal Moore's 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Ia Drang, which was the first major clash between the U.S. and North Vietnamese armies in November 1965, and the first great test of the "airmobile" tactics that the U.S. Army hoped would prove decisive in defeating the stealthy communists, who had run circles around the French. Colonel Moore and Joseph Galloway later documented the horrors of Ia Drang in their book We Were Soldiers Once … And Young, which was the basis for the 2002 movie We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson. Andrew Wiest, author of The Boys of '67 and Vietnam's Forgotten Army, among many other works, is a Vietnam expert, who will assess the various views about the wisdom and the strategy of the war. Was it winnable? Were the strategies correct or flawed? Do join us for what will certainly be a fascinating discussion of the war from multiple perspectives: from that of the troops on the ground to the view from Saigon, Hanoi, and Washington.

Dr. Wawro published his 5th book, A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire (Basic Books, 2014.) The book has done very well and is already in its 4th printing, including a Chinese edition. It was shortlisted for the prestigious Cundill Prize in Historical Literature. Dr. Wawro has also given numerous talks. He was invited to France in March 2014 to inaugurate the new Franco-Prussian War Museum at Gravelotte. His talk, "1914 Prefigured: Myths, Realities and Omens of the Franco-Prussian War," was part of the International Symposium titled From One War to the Next: What was left of 1870-71 in 1914? International Relations, Armies and Societies. On the strength of his 2010 book Quicksand, he was invited to address the National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel 'Special Relationship at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where he gave a talk titled "The Power of the Israel Lobby, Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama" in March 2014. In August 2014, he and Ambassador Chas. Freeman addressed The Hammer Forum in Los Angeles, seeking parallels between the crisis year 1914 and 2014 in a talk titled "When Diplomacy Fails: The Breakdown of Negotiations in 1914 and the Parallels with Today." In September 2014, Dr. Wawro gave the keynote address at the 9th Annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, the theme of which was "Theodore Roosevelt and World War I." The title of his talk was "World War I and American Views on Intervention, 1914-1917," Likewise in September, he delivered an address titled "World War I Begins: Military Operations 1914-16, A Reassessment," to the New York Military Affairs Symposium and the National Arts Club. In November 2014, he addressed the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna about "The Long Shadow of Austria-Hungary" in Europe. He was one of the two speakers at the 32nd Annual Hurley Military History Seminar in November 2014, which offered "Fresh Perspectives on the 100th anniversary of the Outbreak of World War I." Dr. Wawro's talk was titled "A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Lessons for Today." In 2014, his chapter "Germany vs. France, Bismarck through 1914," was published in Enduring Strategic Rivalries Conference for the US Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment and Institute for Defense Analysis in Washington, D.C. He has continued as a national security commentator for KDFW Fox 4 News in Dallas, appearing on the morning show at times of crisis. He appeared on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS with former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin to discuss parallels between 2014 and 1914. Dr. Wawro has just wrapped up work on a new History Channel series called Nazis that will premier in May 2015; he appears in all 6 episodes as an expert commentator. He continues as series editor for the Cambridge Military Histories along with Oxford's Hew Strachan, helping bring 3 new monographs into print in 2013-14. Dr. Wawro also continues as a member of the History Book Club Review Board, vetting manuscripts for the club.

Dr. McCaslin published an article "United States Regulars in Gray: Edward Ingraham and Company A, 1st Confederate Regular Cavalry," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 118 (July 2014)] and a book chapter "Defending the Lone Star," inWriting Texas History, eds. Bruce Glasrud, Light Cummins, & Cary Wintz (University of Oklahoma, 2014)]. He has two forthcoming military history articles in Civil War History and theEast Texas Historical Journal. He also has delivered military history papers and lectures to the Society for Military History (Spring 2014), the Symposium on Unionism in Civil War Texas at Texas State University (Spring 2014), another symposium entitled "Defending the Homeland" at LSU-Shreveport (Spring 2014), and to a Humanities Texas Teachers Workshop (Fall 2014). In Spring 2014, he chaired a session entitled "The Army Comes to Texas" for the annual conference of the Texas State Historical Association.

Dr. Leggiere's Blücher: Scourge of Napoleon, published in April 2014 by the University of Oklahoma Press as part of the Campaigns & Commanders series, was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Book Award in Biography by the Society for Military History. While on sabbatical in fall 2014, Dr. Leggiere completed his massive 2-volume study of Napoleon's 1813 Campaign, which Cambridge University Press published in April 2015 as Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany: The Franco-Prussian War of 1813 Volume 1: The War of Liberation, Spring 1813 and Napoleon and The Struggle for Germany: The Franco-Prussian War of 1813 Volume 2: The Defeat of Napoleon. He also contributed chapters titled "Enduring Strategic Rivalry: Great Britain versus France," to Enduring Strategic Rivalries. Ed. James G. Lacey. Alexandria, VA: Institute of Defense Analysis, 2014 and "The Fall of Napoleon," to The West Point History of Warfare. Eds. Ty Sedulie and Cliff Rogers. United States Military Academy at West Point, 2013, e-publication Beta for iPad 2013, iPad public release and print version 2014. He also presented papers titled "Prussian War Plans against Austria and France during the Polish-Saxon Crisis" at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850, High Point, NC, in February 2015 and "Explaining Marshal Forwards: How the Historians of the Prussian and German General Staffs found in Blücher a Prusso-German Way of War" at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, Kansas City, MO, in April 2014.

Dr. Mierzejewski's review of Christian Wolmar's To the Edge of the World. The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World's Greatest Railroad. New York: Public Affairs, 2014, was published in Railroad History, Fall-Winter 2014. He contributed a chapter, titled "Comparing Apples and Oranges; A Comparison of American and German Railways, to Regulation between Legal Norms and Economic Reality: Intentions, Effects and Adaptation: The German and American Experiences, which was published by the German Historical Institute, ed.Günther Schulz (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014). His article, "Paradigm Shift: The Reform of the German Public Pension System in 2001," will be published in the Journal of Policy History, in Fall 2015. In September 2014, he presented a paper, "Paradigm Shift: The Reform of the German Public Pension System in 2001," at the annual conference of the German Studies Association, which was held in Kansas City, Missouri. In November, Dr. Mierzejewski presented the paper, "Taking from the Weak, giving to the Strong: The Jews and the German Public Retirement Pension System, 1933-1945," at a conference hosted by Boston University titled "Dispossession: The Plundering of German Jewry 1933 - 1945 and Beyond." On 11 July 2014, he was interviewed in Berlin by Winfried Oelsner of Taglicht Media for a television program about the role of the German National Railway (Deutsche Reichsbahn) and the Holocaust. The documentary was aired by ARD, one of the two German government owned television networks on 20 October 2014 under the title "Akte D Das Kriegserbe der Bahn." It is available here, here, and here.

A written summary of the show and access to its script is available here.

Dr. Harold Tanner gave a talk on Sunzi on 18 April 2014 titled "Like a Grindstone Dashed Against an Egg: Sunzi (Sun Tzu) and the Chinese Way of War" at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock hosted by the Department of History and sponsored by the Mabel W. Formica and Santo D. Formica History Endowment. He delivered a presentation on "Cultural and Historical Contexts of China's Strategic Posture" at the Naval Reserve, U.S. Seventh Fleet 2014 Asia-Pacific Symposium on 4 October 2014.

Harold Tanner Flyer

Dr. Chet has given academic presentations in Britain, Belgium, and the United States on his latest research regarding piracy, trade, trade regulation, and marine insurance in the early-modern Atlantic. His monograph on this topic is titled The Ocean is a Wilderness: Atlantic Piracy and the Limits of State Authority, 1688-1856. He has also produced essays on marine insurance ("Harmonizing Government and Commerce") and the military revolution ("Teaching in the Shadow of the Military Revolution"). [see]

Dr. Mitchener's articles "Naval Gunfire at Iwo Jima - The Perils of Doctrinal Myopia" and "Trial by Battle: Roi-Namur and the Naval Gunfire Support 'Lessons of Tarawa'," will be published in forthcoming issues of Global War Studies. An extended version of "Naval Gunfire at Iwo Jima - The Perils of Doctrinal Myopia" is set to appear in The Sea in the Second World War, eds. Marcus Faulkner and Alessio Patalano, to be published by Brécourt Academic. Dr. Mitchener also served on the steering committee for the conference "1944: Seventy Years On" which was held on 14-17 April 2014 and hosted by the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He is serving in the same capacity for "The Asia-Pacific War, 1931-1945: An International Conference, which will take place from 9-11 July 2015 at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. He presented a paper titled "The Maestro of Naval Gunfire Support Planning: Richard L. Conolly and Naval Gunfire Support at Guam" at a conference titled "Naval and Maritime Power in Two World Wars: Contemporary Relevance and Historical Importance," which took place on 11 and 12 April 2014 at the University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College Greenwich, England, United Kingdom. That same month, Dr. Mitchener presented a paper titled "Trial by Battle: Roi-Namur and the Naval Gunfire Support 'Lessons of Tarawa'," at the "1944: Seventy Years On" conference. Later in the year on 11 June 2014, he addressed the East Rotary Club of Richardson, TX, speaking about "Remembering D-Day: 6 June 1944." In September, he gave a discussion titled "The Origins of the Marine Raiders during World War II" at the Admiral Nimitz Foundation Symposium's "In Stealth We Trust: Special Forces and their Origins" at Fredericksburg, TX.

Dr. Cox's article "Seeking Justice for The Holocaust: Herbert C. Pell Versus the US State Department," was published inCriminal Law Forum 25 (2014). In Spring 2015 he is teaching a course titled "Seeking Justice at Nuremberg" for UNT's Emeritus College Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning.

Dr. Roberts was selected to present a paper titled "Soldiers of Christ from the Byzantine Perspective: Monks, Emperors and Conflict in the Late Antique Byzantine Empire" at the 23rd Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity on the topic of "Conflict in Late Antiquity," which took place on 17 and 18 October 2014 at Helsinki, Finland. In November 2014, he presented an invited public talk at the Irving Arts Center which was sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the Irving Arts Center in support of Nat. Geo's traveling display of Peruvian artifacts covering from 200 BC to AD 1460. The title of his talk was: "'Peruvian Gold' in Context: The Historical Development of South American Cultures to ca. A. D. 1500." The Department of History nominated Dr. Roberts for the 2015 Minnie Piper Stevens award. This prestigious award honors every year ten (10) professors throughout Texas during the current academic year for their dedication to the teaching profession and for their outstanding academic, scientific and scholarly achievements. The purpose of these awards is to give recognition to the teaching profession rather than to research, publication, administration or other related activities although these will also be considered by the selection committee.

The MHC along with Texas A&M University--Central Texas hosted the 2014 Central Texas Military History Symposium on 27 September 2014 in Killeen, TX. The Luncheon address, "Air-Mobile MEDEVAC in Vietnam," was presented by Colonel Otis Evans (USA RET.). The Keynote Address, "Elvis's Army: Transformation and the Atomic-Era Solider, 1946-1965" was given by the award-winning author and renowned historian Dr. Brian McAllister Linn of Texas A&M University. UNT Student Fellows Nate Jarrett and Jordan Hayworth as well as MHC alum Dr. Jonathan Abel presented papers.

Student Fellow Jon Abel successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, comte de Guibert: Father of the Grande Armée," in the summer of 2014 in front of committee consisting of Drs. Leggiere, Marilyn Morris, Robert Citino, Walt Roberts, and Marijn Kaplan.

Student Fellow Jordan Hayworth had his article "Evolution or Revolution on the Battlefield? The Army of the Sambre and Meuse in 1794" published in War in History 21, no. 2 (2014).

UNT Alumnus Major Bill Nance, PhD had his article, "Lost Sabers: Why We Need Operational Cavalry and How to Get it Back," published in the Vol. 5, No. 4 October-December 2014 volume of The Cavalry & Armor Journal.

On 11 November 2013 the MHC's first West Point Fellow, Major Bill Nance, earned his PhD by successfully defending his dissertation, "FORGOTTEN GLORY - U.S. CORPS CAVALRY IN THE ETO," in front of a committee consisting in part of Drs. Citino, McCaslin, Leggiere, and Wawro. The MHC sincerely congratulates Major Nance on a job well done!

The 31st Annual Alfred and Johanna Hurley Military History Seminar was held on 2 November 2013 at the Gateway Center on the UNT campus starting at 8:30 A.M. The title of this year's seminar was "The National Security Implications of the Kennedy Assassination."

Dr. Wawro has finished work on his fifth book, which will be published in May 2014 by Basic Books. It's titled "A Mad Catastrophe: the Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire." Dr. Wawro continues to appear regularly on history programs on television, most recently on the History Channel ("World War II from Space"), Spike ("The Deadliest Warrior"), Smithsonian ("True Stories"), and Discovery Military ("Edge of War" and "Hardcore Heroes.") Wawro continues to appear regularly on Fox 4 Dallas to analyze Middle Eastern crises. He remains busy on the Review Board of the History Book Club -- vetting several books a month -- and continues co-editing the Cambridge Military Histories with Oxford's Hew Strachan. Dr. Wawro continues to give talks around the country on military history and defense issues, and in March 2014, Wawro has been invited by the French government to speak at the inauguration of France's new "Museum of the Annexation and the War of 1870-71."

Dr. McCaslin presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era and chaired a session at the annual meeting of the Society for Military History. He also spoke to many informal organizations, including the DAR, UDC, DRT, and the North Texas Chapter of the Naval Academy alumni. He was the principal editor of an anthology published in honor of his colleague, Randolph B. Campbell, by UNT Press, and he had an article published in Military History of the West. His book on John S. Ford received the Bates Award from the Texas State Historical Association, and he served as a History Day judge and State Quiz Show host for that organization. He chaired a session and served on a panel for the regional conference of Phi Alpha Theta at UNT, and he delivered an address on Robert E. Lee for a retrospective on Gettysburg at the Pearce Museum. He continues to serve as an observer for a TAH grant program in Fort Worth and as a member of the boards for the Pearce Museum, TSHA, and UNT Press.

Professor Lowe's newest book, Greyhound Commander: Confederate General John G. Walker's History of the Civil War West of the Mississippi (Louisiana State University Press, 2013), is one ne of only two Civil War memoirs by high-ranking generals in the Trans-Mississippi theater of the war. Written soon after the war, it portrays some of the differences between the war in the Eastern or Western theaters and the conflict west of the Mississippi River.

On 2 November 2013 Professor Tanner gave a presentation (in Chinese) titled "Historical Background of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands Controversy" at the World Taiwan Benevolent Association-South USA, in Richardson, TX. In August 2013 he participated in the Hoover Institution's summer workshop "Revisiting China at the Hoover Archives" at Stanford University, where he gave a talk entitled "Bringing the Military Back in: New Perspectives on China's Civil War." The audio of the talk is available here:

Professor Mierzejewski completed a manuscript on the history of the German pension system and had book reviews published in Railroad History, German History and Transfers. He also served as a commentator on the panel, "Mobilisierung" at a conference titled "Die Deutsche Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus," held on 2 October 2013 by the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam, Germany.

Professor Fuhrmann is completing two articles relevant to ancient military history: one on the role of governors and their soldiers in the imperial persecutions of Christians, the other on the Jewish "Diaspora Revolt" of AD 116-117. He is also writing several articles for ABC-Clio's Encyclopedia of Conflict in Greece & Rome. His first book, Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order was published by Oxford in 2012 and has numerous favorable reviews in several leading journals. His annotated bibliography "Roman Army" appeared in the same year in the Oxford Bibliographies project(10.1093/OBO/9780199791279-0049). He is also publishing in the fields of Roman law and Greek politics in the Roman Empire. Dr. Fuhrmann will be on Faculty Development Leave during the Spring 2014 semester to pursue his second book project, a social historical study of personal security in ancient societies, tentatively titled Like a Thief in the Night.

Chickamauga-1863-Mendoza-AlexDr. Mendoza's latest book,Chickamauga 1863: Rebel Breakthrough, which was published by Praeger in March 2013, has been well received. "Alex Mendoza has crafted a gripping account of the Battle of Chickamauga, which ranks as the largest battle in the Civil War's Western Theater and is the ill-starred Army of Tennessee's only major tactical victory. This superb book is a must-read for all students of the War" wrote Mark L. Bradley, author of The Battle of Bentonville: Last Stand in the Carolinas. The October 2013 edition of Civil War Times Illustrated featured Dr. Mendoza's article on General Daniel Harvey Hill titled, "The Abrupt Demise of a Maverick."

On 11 and 12 September, Dr. Leggiere joined a stellar cast of academics from Britain, France, Germany, and the United States including Sir Michael Howard, Sir Hew Strachan, Adam Zamoyski, Andrew Lambert, and Jeremy Black at a special conference titled "Waterloo: The Battle that Forged a Century" hosted by Waterloo 200 and King's College, London, to debate whether Waterloo was indeed a defining moment in history. With the bi-centenary of the battle of Waterloo only a few years away, the commemorative "Waterloo 200" was established. Waterloo 200 Ltd is an umbrella organization approved and supported by the British Government to oversee the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It can bestow official status upon organizations that it feels would make a valuable contribution to the celebrations and, indeed, the general good of the countries involved. Dr. Leggiere's paper was titled: "The Cult of Personality: Blücher, Waterloo, and the Prusso-German Army."

In August 2013 Kendall-Hunt published Dr. Walt Roberts's world history text book, World Civilizations to 1500 CE: Empires and Religions.

In summer 2013, Professor McCaslin's doctoral candidate, James B. Blackshear, successfully defended his dissertation: "Between Comancheros and Comancheria: A History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico." Also, Doctor Citino's doctoral student, Simone C.C. De Santiago Ramos, successfully defended her dissertation: "Showing the Flag: War Cruiser Karlsruhe and Germandom Abroad."

The 31st Annual Alfred and Johanna Hurley Military History Seminar will be held on 2 November 2013 at the Gateway Center on the UNT campus starting at 8:30 A.M. The title of this year's seminar is "The National Security Implications of the Kennedy Assassination. Our morning speaker will be Dr. David Kaiser, whose talk is titled "Crime, Covert Action, and the Kennedy Assassination." Professor Kaiser has published numerous works covering a broad range of topics from European Warfare to American League Baseball. He was a Professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the Naval War College from 1990 until 2012 and has also taught at Carnegie Mellon, Williams College, and Harvard University. The luncheon address, titled "John F. Kennedy's Last Hundred Days," will be presented by Thurston Clarke. Educated at Yale University, Columbia University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, Clarke has written eleven widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His Pearl Harbor Ghosts was the basis of a CBS documentary, and his bestselling Lost Hero, a biography of Raoul Wallenberg, was made into an award-winning NBC miniseries. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.

Check out the Fall 2013 courses at the Center: Seminar: US Army in the 19th Century (McCaslin); Seminar: Wars of Napoleon, (Leggiere); Readings: The Roman Empire, (Fuhrmann); Readings: Military Revolution, (Chet); Readings: Military Culture and the Military in Chinese History, (Tanner); Readings: First World War, (Wawro); Seminar: Civil War & Reconstruction, (Lowe); Lecture: First World War, HIST 5900/6900 (Wawro); Lecture: 19th Century US Military History HIST5900/6900 (Mendoza); Lecture: WW II in the Pacific HIST5900/6900* (Mitchener); Lecture: Napoleonic Europe HIST5900/6900 (Leggiere); Lecture: Europe 1914 to 1945 HIST5900/6900 (Mierzejewski).

The MHC will once again partner with the Texas A&M University - Central Texas Department of Humanities to host the 3rd Annual Central Texas Military History Symposium on 5 October 2013 in Killeen, Texas. Dr. Dennis Showalter will present the keynote address.

For more information, download the Military History Symposium flier.

The MHC wishes to extend its condolences to the Hurley Family. Dr. Alfred F. Hurley, who for 18 years served as UNT's 12th president, our longest-serving president to date, passed away on 8 June 2013. Dr. Hurley also was the UNT System's first full-time chancellor. His work at UNT spanned 22 years, from 1980 until his retirement in 2002. After he retired as chancellor, Hurley became a professor in UNT's Department of History from 2003 to 2008. In addition to teaching courses to undergraduate and graduate students, he and his wife continued to play a key role in organizing UNT's annual Military History seminar, which enabled business and community leaders throughout Texas to hear various discussion topics and question both a leading scholar and a current or retired military officer who had served in combat. At its 23rd anniversary in 2006, the seminar was endowed by many of its participants and named the Alfred and Johanna Hurley Military History Seminar. Take a few minutes to read about Dr. Hurley's legacy. So much of what he set in motion during his 22 years is still driving our progress and our future today.

The MHC held the 5th Annual Air Power Symposium on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison. Dr. Conrad Crane, Chief of Historical Services at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks discussed the strategic bombing of Japan during the Second World War in a presentation titled "The Cigar Who Brought the Fire Wind." Dr. Crane, one of the foremost experts on the history of strategic bombing, is currently Chief of Historical Services for the Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

Dr. Tanner's latest book, The Battle for Manchuria and the Fate of China, Siping, 1946 was published by Indiana University Press in February 2013. In the spring of 1946, Communists and Nationalist Chinese were battled for control of Manchuria and supremacy in the civil war. The Nationalist attack on Siping ended with a Communist withdrawal, but further pursuit was halted by a cease-fire brokered by the American general, George Marshall. Within three years, Mao Zedong's troops had captured Manchuria and would soon drive Chiang Kai-shek's forces off the mainland. Did Marshall, as Chiang later claimed, save the Communists and determine China's fate? Putting the battle into the context of the military and political struggles fought, Dr. Tanner casts light on all sides of this historic confrontation and shows how the outcome has been, and continues to be, interpreted to suit the needs of competing visions of China's past and future. For more information, see

The Spring 2013 Military History Center Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture was presented by Dr. Sanders Marble of the US Army Office of Medical History on Tuesday, 28 February 2013. Dr. Marble's talk, titled "Scraping the Barrel: How Armies have Conceptualized and Utilized Sub-Standard Manpower," was based on his book, Scraping the Barrel: Military Use of Sub-Standard Manpower, 1860-1960, published by Fordham University Press in 2012.